Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan on Saturday accused the historian Irfan Habib of trying to stop the speech during the inauguration ceremony of the Indian History Congress. The governor termed this “intolerance” of Habib towards different ideology as “undemocratic”.
Governor Khan accused Irfan of obstructing his speech during the Indian History Congress held in Kannur. In his tweet, Khan said that Irfan asked him to mention Godse, questioning the right to quote Maulana Abul Kalam Azad. Khan said that he was fulfilling his obligation to protect the constitution by only reacting to the points raised by the previous speakers.
Angered by the uproar on the stage, Arif Md Khan said, “I will decide who I quote in my speech and who I don’t. Maulana Azad is nobody’s property. People making a ruckus here cannot threaten and silence me. You will have to listen to my words peacefully.”
The statement issued by the governor’s office said, “The governor has termed intolerance towards opposing ideology as undemocratic.” The governor accused the historian also of pushing his ADC and security officer. “Shri #IrfanHabib tried on stage to disrupt inaugural address questioning Hon’ble Governor’s right to quote #MaulanaAbdulKalamAzad*, shouting that he should quote Godse. He pushed Hon’ble Governor’s ADC and Security Officer, who prevented his unseemly gesture,” Arif Md Khan’s office tweeted.
* Editor’s note: It’s Maulana Abul Kalam Azad and not Abdul Kalam Azad
“Hon’ble Governor said that he had responded to points raised by previous speakers, as a person dutybound to defend and protect the Constitution. But trying to disrupt speech from stage and audience due to intolerance towards different opinion is undemocratic,” the tweet by “Kerala Governor” said.
Arif Khan said, “Habib had raised some issues regarding the Citizenship Amendment Act. But when I wanted to speak on those issues, he got up from his seat on the stage and tried to physically stop me. This is completely evident in the video.”
His office had earlier tweeted, “Inaugural meet of Indian History Congress does not raise controversies. But at 80th session at Kannur University, Shri Irfan Habib raised some points on CAA. But, when Hon’ble Governor addressed these points, Sh. Habib rose from seat to physically stop him, as clear from the video.”